DA: NYPD members among 49 charged in prostitution ring

Posted: Updated:

Forty-nine people, including seven active members of the NYPD, have been charged for their alleged involvement in a prostitution ring that spanned Queens, Brooklyn and Nassau County.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced Thursday that a Queens County grand jury indicted a retired NYPD detective for allegedly operating “a complex prostitution ring and a gambling enterprise with his wife that also involved seven current members of service and nearly three dozen civilians.”

Brown said in prepared remarks that retired NYPD Vice Detective Ludwig Paz, 51, of Queens, allegedly “used his knowledge of the inner working of the New York City Police Department to run a string of brothels” in the three regions.

According to the DA, there were brothels operating in Queens, Brooklyn and Nassau, and numerous gambling rooms were set up in beauty salons and other businesses.

According to Queens DA, Brooklyn South Vice Detective Rene Samaniego, 43, is accused of aiding Paz with both the prostitution ring and the gambling organizations. Sgt. Carlos Cruz, 41, and Detective Giovanny Rojas Acosta, 40, allegedly aided Paz by providing information on law enforcement activities related to prostitution. Paz, Samaniego, Cruz and Rojas Acosta are all charged with enterprise corruption.

DA Brown identified sergeants Cliff Nieves, 37, and his brother Steven Nieves, 32, who were charged with promoting prostitution and allegedly operating a brothel for the sole purpose of hosting a bachelor party. Also, Officer Giancarlo Raspanti is accused of providing Paz with confidential police information in exchange for discounted sex at a brothel and Sgt. Louis Failla was charged in connection with allegedly assisting Paz following a brothel raid.

Brown says the investigation began in April 2015 after a tip from a police officer to the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau. That unit then utilized court-authorized wiretaps, surveillance and other techniques to identify those allegedly involved.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."